Peter N. Stearns's American Fear: The Causes and Consequences of High Anxiety PDF

By Peter N. Stearns

ISBN-10: 0203943813

ISBN-13: 9780203943816

ISBN-10: 0415955424

ISBN-13: 9780415955423

Americans became excessively anxious, and manipulation via worry has turn into an important challenge in American society, with genuine impression on coverage. by utilizing information from 9-11, this e-book makes a particular contribution to the exploration of contemporary worry, but in addition via constructing a old viewpoint, the publication indicates how and why designated American fears have emerged over the last numerous a long time.

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Additional info for American Fear: The Causes and Consequences of High Anxiety

Example text

The whole edifice is surrounded by fortress-like bunkers, and two ranks of military security must be passed before there is any sense of welcome or even normalcy. The American nation parades its anxiety for all to see. The contrast with contemporary British measures, at its embassies, is again striking. In Abu Dhabi, for example, the British did ban parking directly in front of the embassy and constructed a higher wall—but one that remained attractive and in keeping with local custom; concrete slabs were not involved.

This meant of course that 47 percent professed no particular emotional response, an important division, but the dominant emotional reactions were impressive nevertheless. Over 60 percent of the population cried on September 11—which suggests grief more than fear. Half of all adults reported worries about the safety of loved ones in the weeks after the attacks. Large majorities professed willingness to sacrifice in order to promote safety—including acceptance of higher taxes or restrictions on energy.

No society likes to confront its distinctive emotional sores. Fearfulness is hardly part of our preferred national image. The partisan overtones add to the complications—while both political camps play on fears, the conservative use has become more blatant and troubling, if only because conservatives have gained national ascendancy. The indisputable fact that the nation faces real risks is perhaps the central complexity: the line between fear, and fearing too much, is not easy to draw. But we have come, as a nation, to fear excessively.

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American Fear: The Causes and Consequences of High Anxiety by Peter N. Stearns

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